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Trap: Hungry eyes verses neutral eyes.

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by snowbird, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. snowbird

    snowbird TS Member

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    The Quiet Eye Phenomenon
    March 2006—Trapshooting Olympic Way 306 sidebar

    Dr. Joan Vickers, professor and director in kinesiology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, has been a pioneer in the identification, study and measurement of the Quiet Eye phenomenon in sports performance. The following material is a combination of direct excerpts from Dr. Vickers’ excellent article, “A Quiet Eye” [Golf Digest, January 2004] and additional text inserted by me to illustrate how her findings while studying golfers’ putting techniques can be applied to trapshooting.—Les Greevy









    Why is it that shooting consistently high scores is so difficult for so many shooters? Almost anyone can learn to mount the gun and determine the lead in an acceptable manner. The difficulty lies in using your eyes to detect the right information about distance, speed and direction at the right time, then using your mind to relay that information to consistently make the shotstring and target collide.


    By recording data under laboratory conditions (using sophisticated eye-movement tracker technology, which allows us to monitor precisely what the eye focuses on and for how long) the mystery of what separates really good competitors from the rest is beginning to be figured out. We call it the Quiet Eye; here’s what it is and how you develop it.








    The Quiet Eye occurs when your gaze remains absolutely still at the target pick-up point just before and as the target is called for and the gun move is initiated. There are two important aspects of this basic yet essential skill: location and duration.

    Concerning location, the shooter must determine his target pick-up point (look point) with precision. It must be on the line of the target, and the look point must be identified with a very small feature in the background of the scene. Quiet Eye duration is also important. The expert shooters have a Quiet Eye duration of 2+ seconds on average, while less skilled shooters hold the gaze for less than one second.





    The same results have been found in a number of other sports, including rifle shooting, darts, billiards and basketball free throws. In all of the self-initiated target sports, the Quiet Eye is emerging as the primary indicator of optimal focus and concentration.




    This QE period is essential because your hands are controlled by your brain. The brain gets valuable information from your eyes. As you shoot, your brain needs to organize more than 100 billion neuron networks that are informed by your gaze and then control your hands, arms and body as the shot is performed. These networks will stay organized for only a short period of time; a window of opportunity opens that must be used when it is at its most optimal. This is the QE period.








    The notion of being in The Zone or of “flow” in sport has been around for a long time. Until now, there has been only unscientific evidence that The Zone exists, let alone has measurable characteristics. Perhaps the Quiet Eye will emerge as one of the objective measures.

    The Quiet Eye is the glue that keeps neurons from being scrambled when under stress. It supplies the right information at the right time. Overall, the Quiet Eye has the essence of simplicity alluded to when the shooter is in The Zone. More research will tell. In the meantime, QE is something you can learn and add to your game today.



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  2. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    The following is an excerpt from Bill Henery aka. Don Zutz original Shotgun Sports magazine article on "Soft Focus".

    "Your eyes can adjust quickly to center on the target if you have grooved the right technique, which goes like this. Establish a soft focus over your gun, with your eyes watching alertly, but not focused down sharply, toward the area between the traphouse and your pre-mounted gun [or muzzle position, if your gun is started from a lowered hold, as in sporting clays, hunting, or International Skeet]. Don’t focus on the house or look keenly into the hole---which leaves most shooters looking behind the target. Merely have your eyes looking into the area where experience tells you will begin to see the target even if it is not clear. Keeping a soft focus in the pickup area, key your mind to be ready for an imprecise blur. Also, key your mind to have your eyes zero in on that speeding mark once it is noticed. Your gun can start to move once the mark is seen and identified, and eye/gun tracking will begin to coordinate. A trapshooter holding a 'high gun" starting point above the traphouse can begin reacting to the target before it reaches his gun's level and, by the time it comes up to his hold point's level, his gun can be swinging well into the shot for a quick intercept. As mentioned earlier, you don't have to see the target pop up above your hold point before moving."

    The 'Pro' mentioned in the first post seems to employ Hard Focus too soon but maybe he actually shoots in a manner different than what he thinks he does.
     
  3. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I must admit that I do not understand "Quiet Eye" as presented but I think I understand "Soft Focus". When I took a clinic from Daro Handy he told me to speed up my Set Up Ritual into a timed routine to the extent of just a slight pause to let the brain settle before calling for the target. Of course I'm actually looking into the pick-up zone before I even mount the gun. I think that if I had to wait a full 2 seconds before calling for the target I would either resort to tension producing 'Hard Focus' or my mind would wander. Daro's clinic has helped me but it seems contradictory to what I read about "Quiet Eye" ??
     
  4. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    I look right at the edge of the house to see the target as soon as it emerges. Leo suggested the technique. I said to myself, "Why should I look for the target out there somewhere when I know where it is coming from?" The game got a lot slower.

    Then, I got a lot better when I started taking longer to settle in to look for the target.
     
  5. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Richard- I would take issue with several of the things you copied from an article by Chris Batha. I am leaving for Middletown in about an hour. If you like, I can discuss my problems about the article with you next week.

    I am convinced that the terms "soft focus" and "quite eye" refer to how the brain interprets the visual images coming from the eyes. They are not related directly to anything that is actually happening in the eyes.

    Seeing the target clearly is very important. We practice many things, but few of us practice on how to see the target. Frank Little used to like to score for other shooters. He told me that this is a good way to practice seeing the targets.

    Pat Ireland
     
  6. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    I like to use "xray vision". I like to look through the gun, and see the target leave the house. I feel the sooner you see the bird the better the chances are that your brain will send the right message to your body to react inorder to hit the target. HMB
     
  7. otnot

    otnot Active Member

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    I'm a two eyed shooter and hold a low gun and what I have found that works for me. If I maintain focus on a very small object out in front of the trap house and let my thoughts take a second or two to calm just before the target is called for. By focusing on a single object it keeps your eyes from wandering and also keeps you gun in one spot. My periphial vision picks up the targets flight path and if I let my eyes lock onto the target before moving my gun it usually results in a broken target.
     
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